I could not scan using mcafee because it somehow disabled it, but after speaking to mcafee's technical team and downloading something that fixed it, i was able to scan in safe mode. It said it found the NTOSKRNL-HOOK infection and removed it, but every time i ran a further scan it would find it again.
I followed the instructions of other posts on this forum and downloaded and ran combo fix. When i now run mcafee it no longer finds the virus, and the laptop seems to connect to the internet without rebooting. However, all the other posts on this topic seem to go through more steps after running combo fix, steps that i didn't want to do without being told exactly what and how to do them as i don't really know what im doing. I have the combo fix log which i can post if anyone is willing to suggest what to do next.
Many thanks in advance, Jamie.